Inside McLaren's new $4m Speedtail sports car

It's a world I know very little about, and one I'm very unlikely to ever be part of - the world of luxury ultra-high spec sports cars for the super-rich.

So when I got an invite to check out arguably the most-anticipated car of its type for 2018, there was no way I was saying no.

And when that car is made by a company started by Kiwi Bruce McLaren in 1963, the allure was all the more potent.

It's called the McLaren Speedtail, and only 106 of them will be built - the model unveiled today is just a testing prototype so any teething issues can be ironed out.

Long before the final design was locked in, all 106 of them had been sold to VIP customers around the world - probably China, the US and the Middle East (although exactly who and where is a highly guarded secret).

Imagine dropping $4m on a car you've never seen, and all you know is that it's a three-seater, it's petrol-electric, and will be the fastest vehicle to come out of the McLaren Automotive factory.

The back of the car.
Photo credit: Newshub/Lloyd Burr

The recipients of the Speedtail are in for an incredible treat; its top speed is 403km/h, and it has an insane acceleration of 0-300km/h in just 12.8 seconds.

A petrol-electric hybrid engine packs a little over 1000 horsepower, which I'm told is actually pretty low compared to comparable vehicles.

But what makes it so fast is the aerodynamic design; every single curve on the car has a purpose and that's to slice through the air with as little resistance as possible.

There are no wing mirrors, for example. Instead, two small video cameras pop out of the door and the images are displayed on two LCD screens on the inside of the car.

The side of the car.
Photo credit: Newshub.

The forward wheels are covered by the carbon fibre cap so the air isn't churned up by the alloy spokes.

Incredibly, the chassis of the Speedtail is made from carbon fibre, which is very strong, but very light weight; the entire weight (without a tan of gas) is around 1.5 tonnes.

The interior design hasn't been locked in yet - but expect it to be insanely perfect.

The list of the Speedtail's specs is so long, I can barely do it any justice in this article.